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Boomers Pandemic, Millennials Cost, Bubble World – Part 2 of 2

Uploaded 6/1/2020, approx. 13 minute read

Welcome to the second part. Make sure you watch the first part, because the second part, strangely, is a continuation of the first part.

So I was saying at the end of the first part that the Great Recession damaged young workers to such an extent that they have never succeeded to recover. Generation X, for example, did recover. It regains, recaptured big part of the lost employment. Almost all the boomers covered all the ground that they had lost.

But young workers have never recovered. And the reason they have never recovered is a structural transformation in the economy. It's an economy of self-employment, economy of temps, temporary workers. There's a consolidation of employers. Employers are now dictating the terms. It's a buyer's market. There's less vocational education.

So millennials were affected by these structural changes in the economy. And the Great Recession put a lead, put a hold on all this, and created a kind of two-track labor market.

There are very, very high-paying jobs which go to college graduates and postgraduates, especially in STEM, certain professions. STEM is science, technology, and so on, mathematics. In these areas, there's high-paying jobs. People with college education generally make more money than people with a high school diploma.

And all the others make a pittance.

And the problem is that even people who have attained this level of education and therefore gained entry into the higher-paying segment of the employment of the workforce, even they are hobbled and buried under enormous debt, student debt, student loans.

Take, for example, the fact that in 2004, the first millennials graduated college and they entered the market. At that time, the total student debt was $260 billion with a B.

Only 14 years later, just 2018, when the youngest millennials who graduated, the figure was $1.5 trillion, six times higher in 14 years.

And so, in various surveys and various studies, for example, by Fed economists, Alvaro Meza and Daniel Ringo, Camila Sommer, etc., there was a direct correlation, there was a direct connection between the decline in home ownership and the increase in student loan debts since 2005. There's about 400,000 individuals who wanted to buy a home in 2014 and couldn't because of their student loans.

And so, as Anna Kent, a policy analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, wrote recently, if people enter the labor force during a recession and they get into lower paying jobs, that carries forward for much of their lifelong working careers. That's going to have impacts on not only their income but their wealth and also their ability to save for a down payment and their ability to meet other lifetime goals.

The Census Bureau, there's a guy, an economist there, called Kevin Rins, the Census Bureau published only last year that millennial employment recovered to some extent in the decade after the Great Recession, but millennial earnings, millennial wages never did.

Don't forget that boomers and even Generation X, they derive a lot of income from investments, investments in stocks, investment in bonds. Millennials don't have this cushion. They don't have home equity.

In other words, they don't have homes which they own, having paid the mortgage, and they don't have investments in stocks and bonds.

And so, in various studies, for example, Danny Yegen and the University of California, Berkeley and others, it's been demonstrated that the average millennial had lost 13% of his wages, these earnings, between 2005 and 2017. And this is way more than Generation X. Generation X had lost 9%. And it's double what the boomers had lost. They had lost 7%.

And so, baby boomer earnings have largely recovered, but millennials remain stuck, remain stuck way below where they should have been.

And the figures are staggering. People younger than 45 years old, they had lost, hold your breath, remain seated. People under age 45 had lost 50% of their wealth from 1989. One half shaved, gone. It's called in finance industry, a haircut. That's not a haircut. That's a haircut.

All the people, you know, Generation X and especially boomers, they didn't lose anything of their wealth. They doubled it.

Millennials have lost 50%. Boomers have doubled their wealth.

Millennials, as I said, have zero housing equity.

You know, there was a study. They asked people, if you faced a $400 medical emergency, could you manage it?

And so, the numbers are, again, mind boggling. The numbers are mind boggling. About one eighth of the population couldn't manage $400, even if they tapped friends and credit cards and so on and so forth.

And among these, millennials are way overrepresented, way overrepresented.

And so millennials get married and have children much, much later. And you know, children is a form of social equity. It's a kind of social investment. These children take care of you when you retire. Children also are full of medical insurance because they take care of a medical needs in nursing homes, care homes.

I mean, watch reporting from the pandemic and you will see younger people, younger people taking care of fathers, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers in nursing homes, in care homes.

Children have always been a kind of long term deferred investment in social equity.

And so millennials get married late and have children late. They marry a whopping 10 years later than boomers. And they have children seven years later than boomers had. And their own homes six years later, if at all, the majority of them don't.

And so the irony is that all the previous generations misbehaved. The boomers misbehaved. They were narcissistic. They were sex starved. They were solipsistic. They were selfish. They were ego maniacal. They were aggressive. The boomers were really the piece. It's the worst generation in many ways.

Generation X was into the high tech bubble and this and that. And they were like all over the place. They were a kind of playboys more or less. Fortunes were made, fortunes were lost, finance industry, high tech industry, all over the world. The world was opening international trade has tripled. I mean, it was a party time.

The millennials were the first one who did everything right. For example, millennials are the most educated generation ever. Nevermind now that the level of education has declined because universities are more interested in money than in teaching. They had become actually mega corporations.

And so anyone who can spell his name with fewer than two mistakes in the spelling can enter. I agree.

But ignoring these facts for a minute, ignoring functional illiteracy, which is at an all time high, ignoring a rising tide of narcissism and grandiosity among millennials, documented by the likes of Twenge and Campbell and others, putting all this aside, technically and formally millennials are most educated.

And one thing is for sure, millennials live within their means. They are not overspenders. They don't charge their credit cards without cover. They don't go into overdrafts. They don't take loans and debts.

And so they are very, very responsible people. They're very serious people.

And when millennials are educated, when they have relevant degrees in STEM and so on and so forth, they compare well with boomers and generation X, although they still get paid less

But the less educated millennials, they are in a horrible situation. Not only do they lag behind the educated peers, but they also lag behind less educated members of earlier generations.

So there's an education divide between the generations, not only an income divide, not only urban versus rural, not only white versus minorities, but there's also an education divide. All these were fault lines, fractures, widely exposed by the pandemic.

And institutions that we had built to cope with these things, great society, social welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, they ended up hijacked by older generations.

Income inequality reflects a generational accumulation of wealth in the hands of few boomers and older people, even.

So 12% of all workers can't cover a $400 emergency, emergency expense, even with the help of family and credit cards, according to what I've mentioned before. It's a study by Kent from the federal reserve.

And these 12% are white, white folks. If you look at non-Hispanic black millennials, figure is 32%, Hispanic millennials, 20%, millennial women, 17%, all millennials, with less than about bachelor's degree, no higher education, 25%.

So situation disproportionately affects millennials. It's a millennial problem.

The lack of savings, the lack of financial wherewithal, living with the parents until very late, getting married late and everything, everything is late. Everything is much later.

And yet millennials keep doing the right thing. They keep adhering to the tenets of the American dream. They keep behaving responsibly, properly. They invested their education, they spend within their means, they work hard, and it's not working.

This is the lens of the pandemic. This is the prism. This is the mirror that the pandemic is putting to us.

The American dream is not a dream. It's a nightmare. And it's not working. It never did, by the way.

Social mobility in America was the lowest among industrial, industrialized nations.

The thing is that Anglo-Saxon capitalism became the dominant means of arranging production all over the world. Even China is capitalist. Even North Korea is becoming capitalist, capitalistic.

Capitalism is bankrupt with this pandemic.

If you take capitalism, the failure of capitalism, the market failure, the structural failure, the endless boom and bust cycles, which have become much more rapid, owing to rapid transmission of information via technology and so on.

If you take all this, put together, and add to it the pandemic, and add to it income inequality, that's it. It's a bankruptcy of capitalism. And it's going to be replaced by something which I call neo-feudalism.

I suggested this 30 years ago in an article. We are heading to an age of neo-feudalism.

We're a tiny, tiny elite of boomers with loads of money and wealth.

I don't think you realize what I'm talking about. 10,000 people in the United States own more than half of the national wealth. So these people are going to employ slaves in all but name. Slaves in all but name.

And there are already new corporate structures and organizational principles, like Uber, where people are not employees, but so-called contractors, glorified slaves.

And so, millennials, although they do try to save, they spend less than they earn. And although 52% of millennials were already saving for retirement at age 34, compared to 42% of boomers, which had retirement savings.

In other words, although millennials behave much more responsibly, fiscally and monetarily, the pecuniary character of millennials is much healthier, proffer. They are still screwed.

They're the most educated, most diverse, perhaps the zoomers will surpass them, we have to see. But at this stage, they're the most educated, most diverse, most responsible, most everything. And they are royally screwed by their elders who are nothing of the sort.

And so what happens is that millennials are taking their wages and the wealth that they're creating, and they are transferring it in the form of student loans and home mortgages to boomers, boomers who own the financial institutions, boomers who own politics, boomers who conflate politics with money and create a plutocracy.

There is a shocking sentence in one of the reports. I'm quoting, the parents of millennials and public authorities funded less of their college education than previous generations.

And if you break down this picture, and start to look at African Americans, Hispanic millennial populations, and so on, I mean, the picture is much more horrific Much more horrific, because these groups have suffered from systemic discrimination.

There is now a series of wealth gaps. The wealth gaps between black and white, it's a well known, well documented thing. The wealth gaps between educational levels, wealth gaps between men and women, income gaps, but there is a new wealth gap which dwarfs all of them.

And that's a wealth gap between old and young. That's according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

And so what's the picture that the pandemic has exposed? You're young, you're screwed. You're a minority, you're screwed. You're a woman, you're screwed. You're an imaginalist group, forget it. Everyone is falling behind. You're educated? You know what you can do with that.

You know, of 10 multi-billionaires in the United States today, of the Forbes 500, of the Forbes list of billionaires, very few are college educated, actually.

This myth that education leads you to riches, it's part of the narrative, the fake narrative of the confabulation of the American dream. Education leads you to higher lifetime earnings, but within a very narrow strip, within a very narrow range, and only compared to your peers.

Bill Gates didn't finish university. Steve Jobs didn't finish university.

So, when you look at millennials, when you look at these groups, it's true. If you're less educated, if you have a high school diploma, for example, your wealth is half the wealth of your peer, same age, with a college diploma.

But the wages of that graduate or postgraduate, the wages have been stagnant for decades. And there's been a wealth transfer even from educated people, especially from educated people, to boomers and older generations who are not so educated or not educated at all, narcissistic, grandiose, selfish, dysempathic.

In short, dare I say, psychopathic.

Labor department data shows that women, Hispanic workers, and the less educated are over-represented among unemployed millennials. And these trends are growing during the pandemic.

Everything we have seen hitherto is just going to grow during this pandemic until it reaches a bursting explosive point.

And then we will have to see. That's how social revolutions start.

Similar trends in income inequality have happened in the 1920s and led, of course, to Nazism and fascism and communism. Similar trends happened at the end of the 18th century, and they have inexorably led to the French Revolution and later on to 1848 revolutions throughout Europe.

This kind of fissures, this kind of friction, this kind of conflict leads to systemic social revolutions. And in these social revolutions, the haves become have not, and the haves don't acquire anything.

Social revolutions are all in all destructive of wealth. They're not cumulative. They are dissipative. They are dissipate.

And so we are headed into a period of history where everything we've worked for, everything we've built, everything we've accumulated, starting with knowledge and ending with money, starting with factories and ending with international trade, starting with tourism and ending with interpersonal relationships. Everything is going to be placed under such a normal strain that are not optimistic that it will survive.

I want to finish by responding to one recurrent question about shared fantasy.

People keep saying it's wrong to say that if the partner exit the shared fantasy, the narcissist is not interested in the partner anymore. I've received numerous emails, comments, messages. It's not true. I exited the shared fantasy with the narcissist and he hovered me back and he was all over me and he was, on the contrary, he was contrived. He was repentant. He was, he begged me to come back and this is all true.

But that's not what I said. I said that if the partner exits the shared fantasy by cheating, only by cheating, and then causes mortification.

So there are two, three cumulative conditions, renouncing the shared fantasy, cheating, romantic, I mean, sexual cheating, or romantic or emotional cheating and mortification of the narcissistic partner. Then the narcissist goes away.

Following mortification, the narcissist avoids the source of intolerable, unbearable pain and vexation.

That's all I said. Thank you for listening.

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